Title: Petition of Erasmus J. Middleton and Mary Jane Perry, 20 June 1862
Date: June 20, 1862
Source Text: A microfilm reproduction of the original document held at the National Archives and Records Administration, Microcopy 520, Reel 5. The original document is held in the Records of the Accounting Officers of the Department of the Treasury, 1775–1978, National Archives and Records Administration, Record Group 217.6.5. Within the National Archives' Archival Description Catalog, see ARC Identifier 4644616 / MLR Number A1 347 (http://arcweb.archives.gov).
Civil War Washington ID: cww.00724
To the Commissioners under the act of Congress approved the 16th of April, 1862, entitled "An act for the release of certain persons held to service or labor in the District of Columbia."
Your Petitioners, Erasmus J. Middleton, of the County of Washington, Trustee,
and Mary Jane Perry, of the City of
Washington, D.C. Cestui que trust, by this their petition in writing, represent
and state s, that they are
is a persons loyal to the
United States, who, at the time of the passage of the
said act of Congress, held a claim to service or labor against three persons of
African descent of the names of Caroline Shaw, Anna Maria
Smith—and Maria Louisa
Dorsey, for and during the life of said three persons, and that by said act of Congress
said three persons were discharged and freed of
and from all claim of your petitioner to such service or labor; that at the time
of said discharge said Caroline Shaw was of the age of Thirty years, and of the personal description following:(1)
mulatto woman about five feet five inches
high—medium size, and no visible marks or scars about
That your petitioner acquired their claim to the aforesaid service or labor of said Caroline Shaw in manner following:(2) By Mr. Augustus E. Perry in right of his wife, one of your Petitioners, in a division of the estate of her Father, the late Richard Ross of Montgomery County, Maryland, of which there is no written evidence, unless the Executor, the late Nathan Lufborough stated it in his return to or settlement with the Orphan's court of Montgomery County aforesaid—
That your petitioner's claim to the service or labor of said three persons was, at the time of said discharge therefrom, of the value of 2,000 dollars in money.(3)
- Said Caroline Shaw is hypochondriack, but for that would be a most excellent servant, being a good Cook, Washer & Ironer—with her defect we nevertheless think her worth $300—
- The said Anna Maria Smith is a good cook, washer and ironer, and a good house servant is worth $1000—
- The said Maria Louisa Dorsey is a very good house servant and an excellent nurse—is worth $750.
Your petitioners hereby declare
they bear s true and faithful
allegiance to the Government of the United States, and
that they have
has not borne arms against the United States
in the present rebellion, nor in any way given aid or comfort thereto.
And your petitioners further state
allege s, that they have
has not brought said three persons into
the District of Columbia since the passage of said act of
Congress; and that, at the time of the passage thereof, said three persons were
was held to service or labor therein under and by virtue of your
petitioner's claim to such service or labor.
Your petitioners further state
allege s, that their said claim to
the service or labor of said three persons does
not originate in or by virtue of any transfer heretofore made by any person who
has in any manner aided or sustained the present rebellion against the
Government of the United States.
And your petitioners pray
s the said
Commissioners to investigate and determine the validity of their said claim to the service or labor of said
three persons herein above set forth; and if
the same be found to be valid, that they appraise and apportion the value of
said claim in money, and report the same to the Secretary of the Treasury of the
United States, in conformity to the provisions of
said act of Congress.
E. J. Middleton
Trustee for Mary Jane Perry
Mary Jane Perry
[Form of the Oath for the Verification of the Petition.]
Washington County, ss.
I, Erasmus J.
Middleton & Mary Jane
Perry being duly sworn, do depose and say, that all the
several matters and things which are set forth and stated in the foregoing
petition, as of our
my own knowledge, are true in substance and in fact; and that all
the several other matters and things therein set forth and stated, as from
the information of others, I
we believe to be true in substance and in
E. J. Middleton
Mary Jane Perry
Sworn to and subscribed before me this 19th day of June A. D. 1862.
F. I. Murphey J. P.
and Mary Jane Perry
Note (2.)-- Here state how the claim was acquired, when, from whom, and for what price or consideration; and, if held under any written evidence of title, make exhibit thereof, or refer to the public record where the same may be found.
Note (3.)-- Here state such facts, if any there be, touching the value of the petitioner's claim to the service or labor of the person, as may enhance the same, and also such facts, if any, touching the moral, mental, and bodily infirmities or defects of said person, as impair the value of the petitioner's claim to such service or labor, and conclude such statement with an averment that the petitioner knows of no other infirmities or defects of said person which impair the value of petitioner's claim to such service or labor, and that he believes none other to exist. If the petitioner specify no such infirmity or defect, then his statement touching the value of his claim should conclude with an averment that he has no knowledge of any such infirmity or defect.